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The Reverend Jacob Bailey, Maine Loyalist

For God, King, Country, and for Self

James S. Leamon

Publication Year: 2012

This book tells the story of the Reverend Jacob Bailey, a missionary preacher for the Church of England in the frontier town of Pownalborough (now Dresden), Maine, who refused to renounce allegiance to King George III during the American War of Independence. Relying largely on Bailey’s unpublished journals and voluminous correspondence, James S. Leamon traces Bailey’s evolution from his rustic background through his Harvard education and subsequent career as a teacher, Congregational minister, and missionary preacher for the Church of England. Along the way, Bailey absorbed many of the intellectual currents of the Enlightenment, but also the more traditional conviction that family, society, religion, and politics, like creation itself, should be orderly and hierarchal. Such beliefs led Bailey to oppose the Revolution as unnatural, immoral, and doomed to fail. Reverend Bailey’s persistence in praying for the king and his refusal to publicize the Declaration of Independence from his Pownalborough pulpit aroused hostilities that drove him and his family to the safety of Nova Scotia. There, in exile, Bailey devoted himself to assisting fellow refugees while defending himself from others. During this time, he wrote almost obsessively: poems, dramas, novels, histories. Though few were ever completed, and even fewer published, in one way or another most of his writings depicted the trauma he underwent as a loyalist. Leamon’s study of the Reverend Jacob Bailey depicts the complex nature and burdens of one person’s loyalism while revealing much about eighteenth-century American life and culture.

Published by: University of Massachusetts Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xviii

In academic libraries today there appears to be no lack of resources on the topic of “loyalists” or “Tories,” those who persisted in their allegiance to the king of England during the American Revolution and paid the price for being losers. The Reverend Jacob Bailey, an Anglican missionary preacher from Maine, then part of Massachusetts, ...

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One. The Education of Jacob Bailey

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pp. 1-28

Early one bitterly cold mid-December morning in 1759, a schoolmaster named Jacob Bailey set out on foot from the town of Gloucester in the province of Massachusetts. These were the first steps on a journey that would eventually take him all the way to London, England, and back— a journey that would change his life forever. ...

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Two. From Teacher to Preacher

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pp. 29-52

By the time the affair with Polly Jewett, or Dorinda, dragged to a conclusion of sorts during the summer and fall of 1755, Jacob Bailey was engaged in teaching school, the occupation that, temporarily at least, attracted large numbers of recent college graduates until they could go into the ministry, the law, commerce, ...

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Three. Frontier Missionary

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pp. 53-76

During the next nineteen years, from 1760 to 1779, the Reverend Jacob Bailey served the frontier town of Pownalborough, formerly named Frankfort, as its sole ordained clergyman. During that time, he would confront three major challenges. The most immediate was to fulfill the demands of his pastoral calling ...

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Four. The Politics of Religion

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pp. 77-100

The Reverend Jacob Bailey could hardly have arrived at Pownalborough at a more propitious time, or one more filled with potential disruption. The final act in the British conquest of French Canada during the Seven Years’ War occurred in 1760 with the fall of Montreal, something of an anticlimax after the dramatic capture of Quebec the year before. ...

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Five. The Religion of Politics

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pp. 101-124

Conditions in the town of Pownalborough had always been contentious for Pastor Bailey ever since his arrival in 1760, but the crises drawing the town into the Revolution tended to politicize animosities that up to then had been largely religious and personal in nature. On the one hand, as usual, were Bailey’s two antagonists, ...

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Six. The Price of an Oath

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pp. 125-147

Judge Jonathan Bowman and Sheriff Charles Cushing still had to discover the means by which to coerce their annoying and dangerous college classmate to repudiate his oath of fidelity to the king and accept the new revolutionary order. The tenacity on both sides was religious, political, and personal. ...

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Seven. Reconciled to Exile

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pp. 148-177

Over the next decade, several major themes would complicate the lives of Nova Scotia’s loyalist refugees— and that of Rev. Jacob Bailey in particular. As the Revolution dragged on, becoming international in scope, loyalist hopes for a quick return home gave way to the realization that “home” might well turn out to be Nova Scotia. ...

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Eight. On Reading Jacob Bailey, Loyalist

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pp. 178-199

Although Jacob Bailey had always exhibited a talent for literary expression in many different genres, his arrival in Nova Scotia stimulated those literary tendencies. The great bulk of his literary output is located in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia in Halifax, where it comprises no less than fifteen volumes on thirteen microfilm reels, ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 200-206

Having overcome the traumas of persecution, revolution, and exile, the Reverend Mr. Jacob Bailey died in Annapolis on July 26, 1808, at the age of seventy- seven, survived by his wife Sally and six children.1 The exact location of his burial place is unknown, but in the garrison graveyard of Fort Anne, in Annapolis, there stands a substantial memorial ...

Abbreviations

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pp. 207-208

Notes

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pp. 209-244

Index

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pp. 245-251

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781613762127
E-ISBN-10: 1613762127
Print-ISBN-13: 9781558499416
Print-ISBN-10: 1558499415

Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 10 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2012

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Subject Headings

  • Bailey, Jacob, 1731-1808.
  • Missionaries -- Maine -- Biography.
  • Anglican Communion -- Nova Scotia -- Clergy -- Biography.
  • United Empire loyalists -- Biography.
  • Annapolis Royal (N.S.) -- Biography.
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